Ainsley Webb will be serving another term as the community representative on the Central Otago Health Inc Board, as she was unopposed in the recent elections. Ainsley is the current Chair of Central Otago Health Inc and is a member of Cromwell Rural Women.
What does Otago Health Inc do?
Central Otago Health Inc provides a link between the Dunstan Hospital and the regions in the Central Otago community. Central Otago Health Inc is the sole shareholder of Central Otago Health Services Ltd, which operates Dunstan Hospital. So this role is at the governance level for Dunstan Hospital in Clyde.
What inspired you to stand for the board?
I first stood in 2004. As I have a background in health and have lived in the area now for over 40 years, I thought I could be an informed voice for rural people and the Cromwell community.
Has being a Rural Women member influenced your decision to stand?
Having been a member of Rural Women NZ for almost 40 years, this gives me a broad base of opinions from the rural sector, as well as a network of contacts for gauging future needs.
What do you see as the most important qualities for this role?
The ability to listen to the community, to listen to the needs from within the hospital and allied health departments, to research and understand all information presented and to make decisions in the best interests of the health needs of the community.
What are the top three issues facing your rural community in terms of health?
The main issues facing both Central Otago Health Inc (which owns all the shares in Central Otago Health Services Ltd) and Central Otago Health Services Ltd (which manages the running of Dunstan Hospital) are:
1. Distance from the main centre – isolation
2. Inequitable funding for rural areas
3. The inability of some urban-based administrators to understand the differing issues facing the rural sector.
What achievement are you most proud of, having served three terms in office?
The most proud achievements have been in my last term of office, when we were able to purchase and install a CT scanner, funded totally by the community. It was officially opened on 10 August 2013 by Sir Eion Edgar, as part of the 150 year celebrations of continuous health service at Dunstan Hospital, that I was Chairman of.
If you could change one thing affecting the rural community during your next term in office, what would it be?
I would like to see more available funding to help keep rural people in their own homes, particularly at week-ends, whyile the need nursing care, e.g. more District Nurse funding, more Palliative Care funding and acknowledgement of real travel costs (for care workers).
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